Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Sep 13, 2021 - 8:00:37 AM
like this



1002 posts since 1/31/2004

Bluegrass Banjo Backup Workshop Day with Ron Block, Kristin Scott Benson and Bill Evans

Sunday, October 17, noon to 6 p.m. Eastern on Zoom


$80 for three 75-minute workshops plus Q&A. All sessions recorded for later viewing and study. All sessions will be recorded for later viewing and study via a YouTube link available only to participating students. 


Contact Bill Evans at for more information and to register via PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, credit card or personal check.


Backing up others in jams and bands is perhaps the most challenging aspect of the art of bluegrass banjo. In this workshop, three of the most skilled players and teachers in the world will present their ideas about banjo accompaniment to help you quickly play better with others. These sessions will combine hands-on approaches (with tab) to help you master a wide variety of backup banjo skills with insights into deep listening, channeling inspiration from other players and getting into the band groove.


Ron Block is best known for being the banjo and guitar player with Alison Krauss and Union Station. In addition, he is one of the banjo world’s best deep thinkers who loves to share his insights into the role of the banjo in the band and how we can best use our potential to make ourselves and others sound great. Kristin Scott Benson is a five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year as well as a Steve Martin Banjo Prize recipient, who has played with the Grascals since 2008. As a teacher, she has developed clear step-by-step approaches that have been an inspiration to hundreds of students. Bill Evans has authored backup instructional materials for over thirty years now, helping beginners to get started playing with others as well as exploring more advanced backup through accurate transcriptions of playing from such bluegrass banjo masters as Sonny Osborne and J. D. Crowe.


Kristin Scott Benson, noon to 1:30 p.m. Kristin will use the Grascals’ recording of the Flatt and Scruggs standard “He Took Your Place,” a mid-tempo song with a standard bluegrass chord structure, to explore various backup approaches. Content will include down-the-neck low rolling backup, up-the-neck backup, and some signature Scruggs strategies. Anyone will benefit but most of the material will be suitable for intermediate to advanced players. Students will have access to an mp3 version of this recording without vocals, allowing you to clearly hear Kristin’s backup approach in a band context. With Q&A and tab examples.


Bill Evans, 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Bill will explore roll-based backup strategies for playing songs in the keys of C and D, applying many of Kristin’s ideas to these new keys. Bill will then discuss fiddle tune backup and show you how you can create your own backup, using “Sally Goodin’”, “Soldier’s Joy,” “Blackberry Blossom” and “Whiskey Before Breakfast” as examples. With Q&A and tab examples.


Ron Block, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Ron will discuss and demonstrate his banjo backup philosophy in any band context, but especially in his performances with Alison Krauss & Union Station. He’ll show how listening well and loving the other instruments are the most important aspects of backing up other musicians. He will then demonstrate how he makes his backup choices based on this foundation. With Q&A.


Q&A with Ron, Kristin, and Bill, 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. The teachers answer your questions, play requests, and compare and contrast their individual approaches to bluegrass banjo backup and accompaniment.


This Bluegrass Banjo Workshop Day will be presented via Zoom. After you register with Bill, you will receive an email with a link to the Zoom meeting on Sunday, October 17th. Click on the link and Zoom should open on your computer or tablet and you’ll be ready to go.


The registration fee is $80, payable to Bill Evans via PayPal, Venmo, Zelle or personal check. Contact Bill at for more information and to arrange the payment method that’s best for you.


Edited by - bevans on 09/25/2021 07:28:46

Sep 25, 2021 - 7:25:48 AM
likes this

3937 posts since 9/9/2010

Hey Bill,
I didn't realize this was here. I deleted my post. Thanks for getting back to me so fast by email today. Gotta love bluegrass. It's not everyday I'm getting an email from Bill Evans :)

Sep 25, 2021 - 7:31:03 AM



1002 posts since 1/31/2004

I'm so glad you're joining us! Hey everybody, keep in mind that if you can't join us for the live Zoom sessions on Sunday, October 17th, all sessions will be recorded and posted to private YouTube links available only to registered students. This is a resource that you'll be able to use for future study for years to come. Email me at for more info.

Oct 16, 2021 - 10:39:28 AM



1002 posts since 1/31/2004

Hi everyone! We're just one day away from Bluegrass Banjo Backup Workshop Day on Sunday, October 17th online via Zoom with multiple IBMA Banjo Player of the Year and Steve Martin Banjo Award winner Kristin Scott Benson (The Grascals), and multiple Grammy-award winning banjo player Ron Block (Alison Krauss & Union Station) and Bill Evans (author of "Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies," host of three lesson courses at We've changed up the schedule a bit and I'll be starting things off at noon Eastern Time, Kristin will begin at 1:45 p.m. Eastern and Ron at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. We'll go up until about 6 p.m. with each of us presenting a 75-minute workshop on playing all kinds of backup and there will be plenty of time for your questions (and time for breaks!). Check out the attached pic for a hint of what we'll each be teaching.

And all sessions will be recorded for you to view later via YouTube links to registered students only.

Email me at for more info. Registration is $80 and includes permanent access to videos and 18 pages of handouts (that's a lot of backup right there). It's not too late to join us from anywhere in the world but do try and contact me today (Saturday) since we're less than 24 hours out from the beginning of our session.

And thanks for your interest! This is going to be a great day of banjo knowledge from two master teachers and players (and me). 

All the best,

Bill Evans

Edited by - bevans on 10/16/2021 10:41:05

Oct 16, 2021 - 11:29:31 AM

602 posts since 11/4/2007

I'm really looking forward to the workshop. Thanks for the very clear instructions for accessing the course materials and handouts.  Everything is printed out and I'm ready to go!  I can't believe what a bargain this workshop is!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories